Published Nov 02, 2016Monkeyjunk's fifth record is a consistent offering of straight-ahead blues with a couple new additions to the trio's sound. The band don't stray too far from their comfort zone on Time to Roll, but dynamic instrumentals and heartfelt choruses keep the album compelling throughout its 10 tracks.
Time to Roll is the first Monkeyjunk album that features electric bass, with low-end lines on previous records coming from Steve Marriner's baritone guitar. It's a welcome addition to the album, which also features the band's first acoustic tune, a swampy delta blues track called "Undertaker Blues." Despite layered guitars and various harmonies, the album retains its definition through some sharp production and mixing. Marriner's harmonica playing is particularly cutting, with standout performances on the title track and "Pray For Rain."
The album is littered with toe-tapping grooves and some impressive licks from guitarist Tony D, but it's bogged down by a few too many blues tropes, like the hackneyed ballad "Can't Call You Baby" and clichéd lyrics of cheating spouses and hittin' the road. Yet while Time to Roll may not forge any new ground, it's still an enjoyable record that fans won't want to miss. (Stone Plain Records)